Another week, another excellent Matt Stoller article showing how monopolies create shortages. You won't necessarily know the names of the monopolies in question (Shimano and SRAM for bike parts, Thermo Fisher and VMR for plastic lab supplies, Newell Brands for Mason jar lids), but you will get the point. You'll also witness the folly of producing most of our plastic resin in Texas, like no other American states had a shale boom last decade. Seriously, when they talk "market efficiencies," they really mean "efficiency in redistributing income upward to executives," because letting one or two corporations control everything -- even in niche industries -- is damn inefficient, actually.
From ProPublica we learn that landlords use algorithms to rate potential tenants, and surprise, surprise, no federal agency regulates this activity, nor do landlords make it particularly easy to find out what your "score" says about you, despite the fact that the Fair Credit Reporting Act actually mandates that they give you that info. There is literally no reason any of this should be a secret, and that includes how these algorithms work, or, perhaps more precisely, "work." Certainly no one would want us to think the answer to that question might be "it works in whatever way delivers the most money to landlords." (The CFPB also has some good advice in the article.)
Oh, splendid, now Joe Manchin gets to write the climate plank of the Build Back Better Act, which not only means he'll make sure big polluters get their welfare handouts, but that he'll get to seriously injure the bill before he figures out what bullshit reason he'll use to torpedo it completely. Or he'll just tag-team Kyrsten Sinema and she'll torpedo it! The New York Times leads with the fact that Mr. Manchin himself made half a mil last year from "coal production," but making half a mil in dividends from coal stock isn't really "production" per se; how interesting that a clearly dying industry can make so much money for some people, but not for, say, actual coal workers.
Speaking of Ms. Sinema, Tim Murphy at Mother Jones not only runs down the absurdity of "moderate" Democratic opposition to Medicare drug price negotiation generally, but reminds us that Ms. Sinema ran for Senate on lowering drug prices. In case you're thinking AHA TWO DIFFERENTZ THINGZ!!!!!, letting Medicare negotiate lower drug prices will lower drug prices generally, and not just for the more than 60 million Americans on whose behalf Medicare would negotiate drug prices. Once big corporate employers see the deal Medicare gets, they're going to want to get that deal, too. That doesn't mean we should just tolerate the existence of private health insurance; it just means we use the world we're in to get the world we want.
At least President Biden has said he'll negotiate no deals with Republicans in exchange for their voting to raise the debt ceiling; he learned that much from Barack Obama, who famously refused to give in to Republicans over this same matter in 2013, though I thought he learned that lesson rather late himself. Speaking of learning lessons, Democrats ought to lift the debt limit on their own and stop complaining that "both parties increased the debt, so both parties should lift the debt limit." The message they should bring to the midterms is we governed, they whined, and I think lifting the debt limit on their own actually helps spread that message.
Finally, did Gov. Brian Kemp (E-GA) really say that you shouldn't mandate the COVID vaccine because they didn't mandate the AIDS vaccine and that worked out? Yes, he really did say that -- more than once! -- and the only true part of it is that, yes, no one mandated an AIDS vaccine because the AIDS vaccine doesn't exist. So, is he trying to prove he really "cares" about people by suggesting that he supports a nonexistent AIDS vaccine? How 1999 of him. Well, they say right-wingers have trouble catching up with the times.